Post-CES Odds and Ends

I realize that I had promised more from CES and I never got around to posting.  Today's post is going to be another amalgamation of disjointed topics in the interest of expediency. ThinkPad X301 Disassembled from CES I had mentioned that we took apart a ThinkPad X301 like Business Week did for their cover story last year.  A reader had asked for some pictures of the disassembled system.  For your viewing enjoyment, here they are.

The bottom cover is made mostly out of magnesium, it feels quite solid when picked up.

Here's a side view of all of the disassembled parts - at least the major components.  We didn't think it interesting to show each and every screw (and, speaking as someone who disassembled the system, there were a lot of them.)

The main system board itself is extremely tiny - not much bigger than an old ISA card.  The mini PCIe cards are the WWAN and Wi-Fi card.  Off to the right (cut off) are  the SDD and optical drives. 

Here is the Roll Cage assembly which surrounds all of the components. When attached to the bottom cover, one can see why the system itself feels so solid in your hand.

Defragging an SSD Long ago I promised to post on why defragging an SSD is still relevant and necessary.  It's true that with an SSD there are no physical platters that have to spin into place and no read/write arms that have to move wildly across the surface of a disk.  For this reason, it seems like defragging is a waste of time.  You could also argue that since SSDs eventually wear out, you should not waste rewrite cycles on something as simple as defragging your disk. One of the facts about NAND flash memory technology used in SSDs is that writing data takes much longer than reading data.  When a file is erased, much like standard hard disk technology, only the directory information is erased and the data cells are marked "usable" again.  The data itself is still intact until something new overwrites it.  This means that if the memory space is in use with a "deleted" file, it must first be erased before it can be reprogrammed.  If the free space is fragmented, a new file must be broken into several small write commands instead of one larger write command.  This will cause a performance decrease for SSDs because write speed is slow, especially for small block write transfers.  Yes, cache memory helps mask this performance issue, but no matter what the technology, one long write command is always better than multiple short write commands. Net, defrag your disk regularly if you want maximum performance.

Online Backup I've got a post teed up in the next day or two on online backup.  We've entered that realm with a recent Lenovo offering.  I'm going to tie into it my thoughts on storing data in "the cloud."  While online data backup isn't cloud storage in a strict sense, it does start to go that way.  I'm hoping you all have thoughts that you'll share when the post goes up.  Start mulling it over, if you please. ThinkPad W700ds VideoFinally, for your viewing enjoyment, here's a short video on the ThinkPad W700ds.  Fans of The Office will be particularly pleased.